The Horror Schwab in Action

Just in case some of my students do indeed read this blog: here’s a picture prompt for you. *g* Historical context of the above pic? And of course, everybody else is also invited to cast a vote. Have fun!

3 thoughts on “The Horror Schwab in Action

  1. GoogleRichard

    No google help on this one 🙁 But Yahoo might give you a hint. (Still, historical contexts have never aroused my synapsis… So I depend on you students)

  2. Kate

    Bwahahahahaha! Oh, English history! That’s fantastic. But I’m not going to give anything away, in case your students ARE reading.

    Hugs, Sandy!

  3. Sandy

    The picture is a caricature of the two opposing parties during the English Civil War: the Cavaliers (= the Royalists) vs the Roundheads (the Parliamentarians).

    Charles I had a bit of a communication problem, especially when it came to communicating with his parliament. By 1641 relations between king and parliament had worsened to such an extent that the leaders of the Commons, above all John Pym, started to think about more radical measures to secure more rights for parliament.

    In that whole atmosphere of mutual distrust dropped a bombshell — quite literally so: the (Catholic) Irish feared that English parliament would introduce more repressive laws and to prevent that they started a rebellion and massacred about 3,000 Protestants. Fatally for Charles, the rebels claimed to be acting on his authority and produced a forged written proof. Now it looked as if the king was plotting with Catholics!

    When he needed to raise an army to crush the Irish uprising, parliament feared such an army could be used against parliament. Thus, John Pym led a parliamentary attack against Charles and demanded that the king should hand over the command of the army to parliament. Of course, Charles refused — and stupidly tried to arrest Pym and four other MPs for treason, but they were warned, escaped and hid in the City of London among their followers.

    When news about this got out, the whole of London was in an uproar because Charles had violated the right of MPs not to be arrested in parliament. Eventually, Charles had to flee from London, and both sides started to prepare for war. In August 1642 the king raised his standard at Nottingham and formally declared war on his people. Clever Charlie: the result of this were nine years of bloodshed and anarchy.

    In the end, the Royalists were defeated, Charles was put on public trial for treason against his people and was beheaded in front of Whitehall on 30 January 1649. Cromwell took over the reins, did some slaughtering of royalists (or people who looked like royalists) (or people who were unlucky enough to just be there) in Ireland and Scotland. To give you an idea what sort of charming man Cromwell was: after he had captured the Irish town of Drogheda, he had one tenth of all men killed and the rest shipped to Barbados (as indentured slaves).

    The Royalists were finally defeated at Worcester in 1651, and Charles’s son escaped to France (this is something of a tradition, started by Aethelred the Unready in the early Middle Ages: whenever the English king is thrown out of his country he flees to France).

    With his enemies all vanquished, Cromwell established a Puritan rule in England (alehouses and theaters were closed, popular sports and pasttimes like cockfights were stopped, swearing and prostitution punished, and dancing around the maypole strictly forbidden). From December 1653 until his death in 1658 Cromwell ruled England, Scotland, and Ireland as Lord Protector and Head of State.

    Without Parliament.

    Which isn’t all that different than an absolute monarch. Only that the monarchs so far had left the alehouses, theatres, the dancing and the prostitution be. So, now people were oppressed and couldn’t even have fun. No wonder the English were quick to call back Charles’s son in 1660: the restoration of monarchy finally put the smile back on England’s face. 🙂

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